Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Drawing For a Cause

Recently, I was invited by my friend and fellow KU alum, Brad Sneed, to join Project OpenBook. Together with Phil Haussler, they make MarbleSpark. They are spearheading this collaborative effort which, in the end, will become a children's book of poems and drawings from which the proceeds will benefit Room to Read. Artists and poets of all ages and from all walks of life are invited to participate. If you would like to learn how you, too, can participate, just head on over to the Project OpenBook blog.

The ultimate goal is to raise $2,500 to free a young girl in Nepal from indentured service and pay for her education through secondary school. With a $2,500 contribution, Room to Read will intervene in a case where a young girl has been sold into indentured labor. The money will return the girl to her family and fund her education through secondary school. More information is available here.

A wiki network has been set up where the illustrators and poets can work back and forth on each piece, and constructive criticism is encouraged amongst the participants. Poems are posted by the authors and are up for grabs by illustrators, and as soon as I read Phil's delightful poem below, I called dibs on it:

I Built My Bug a Rocket Ship
by Phil Haussler

I built my bug a rocket ship
To fly him to the moon.
My little insect astronaut
Will be launching very soon.

The rocket is a loaf of bread
With a waffle cone on top.
Four fins made out of melba toast…
Held tight with syrup glops.

Ten, nine, eight, seven…
Get ready for your trip!
…six, five, four, three…
Oh no! My dog just ate the ship!

If you click on the illustration, you can see a larger version, including the bug's spacesuit nametag, which reads, "LIEUTEN-ANT." Get it? :)

You're invited to vote here on which poems and drawings make it into the final book. I hope you'll consider joining the project as well! I will leave you with a link to a video about "The Girl Effect" which describes exactly what Project OpenBook hopes to achieve.

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